It was raining heavily. I returned home at around 12:30 am and knocked the door. My mom opened the door and scolded me for having come late and disturbing everyone’s sleep. She inquired me where I had been, to which I replied that I was in my friend’s house. I took off my shoes and headed towards my room saying I finished my dinner.
I could not sleep for the first 30 minutes. I went to sleep at around 1 am and woke up at 8 am. This had become my daily routine since a couple of days. I was not able to sleep before 1 am for unknown reasons. Apart from this problem, life was easygoing. Job, movies and trips had become an integral part of my life. It took a few days for me to realize that this is all going to change.
Life changed. After coming from work, I would close my room door, sit on my bed and watch endlessly the objects in my room. It might be a book, pen, chair, table, laptop, dress, carpet or a wall. Not that I would think on those objects but seeing them I would easily connect to thoughts about life, death, good, and bad. On Saturdays and Sundays I would sleep continuously from 10 am to 8 pm. From time to time I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with my family. In the remaining time when I was awake, my staring at the objects would continue. My parents never knew I was sleeping all through the weekends as they thought I worked hard for the company and hence they never disturbed me.
It was on one fine Saturday that my parents got to know about my strange behavior. They left home for a function at 7 am and returned home at around 4 pm. They did not take the home key with them because they knew that I shall be at home the entire day. They rang the door bell and I was asleep at that time. They rang the bell several times. I did not open the door. They called to my mobile and shouted my name but no response from me. They also called some of my best friends to see if I was at their places to find the opposite. At 8 pm, I woke up and opened the door. Till then my parents stayed in our neighbor’s house. They were very furious about me. They did not talk to me immediately. My mom cooked food for dinner and while we were having dinner my father asked why I did not open the door to which I replied I was sleeping. They shouted for a while asking what kind of a sleep at daytime can lead to a state like a dead body where I cannot hear the door bell, mobile phone ringing or the shouting. I revealed the secret that I would always sleep at that time and it was impossible for me to control it. Finally, after a lot of scoldings they persuaded me to visit a doctor.
Nirmala was a famous doctor at our place. We visited her. I underwent some medical tests. The doctor told us that there were no problems as per the tests. She said that my issue might be related to stress or tension and gave me some pills for it. That night my mom talked to my grandmother and my grandmother suggested my mom to perform a ritual at our native home to ward off the bad energy. My mom agreed to it and we left to our native place.
Within two days my relatives at my grandmother’s house got to know my strange behaviors. My sleeping styles and the way I stare at things made them uncomfortable and they asked a priest to check me if I really had a problem. The priest was an old, experienced and respectable person from the village. He gave the shocking news to our family that I was frequently possessed by some bad energy.
Though heavy hearted, my parents had to accept the bitter fact about my body being frequently possessed by an evil force. The priest’s next move was to perform a ritual to know exactly what the evil wants. As per the priest’s suggestions the ritual began in the big dining hall which also had a puja room on one side. I was made to sit inside a large almost spherical copper container covering till my neck. There was a small opening from where I could breath. The priest chanted the prayers. After sometime I went to sleep and was possessed. My entire family were very afraid about what would happen next. As the sounds of the chants increased, the copper container started to vibrate.
For the first time my family was witnessing something so strange like watching a copper container vibrate on its own. They screamed and hurried to pull my unconscious body out of the container. The priest gave signals to stop panicking and leave me in the container itself. As the time passed the vibrations became stronger and slowly the container started rolling. My mom unable to see my situation moved to the main hall leaving my father. The priest asked the dark energy to tell the reason for the possession of my body. The container moved to-and-fro rapidly and hit the walls ferociously. The priest could not understand what is happening and he could no longer control the future events.
The priest was horror-stricken by my plight. The situation had become so uncontrolled that the priest himself was panicking to stop all this. My father was furious on him but did not utter a word. They both tried to stop the moving container in vain. The speed of the container kept on increasing along with the sounds made by it when it rolled on the floor. Somehow in my subconscious mind I learned what is going on with my physical body and understood the exact problem. It gave me shivers and I thought I am going to die soon. It was an unbearable pain for me to be in the situation. In a fraction of a second it occurred to me that I could solve the problem. But, how? That was the golden moment when I subconsciously told to myself ‘Believe in yourself’. I thought about the statement for sometime and I got a gut feeling that I can ward off the evil energy from my body. My belief in myself increased, increased and increased indefinitely. It increased so much that the container in which I was present hit a wall and stopped moving. I opened my eyes to see that I was OK apart from a few marks and blood oozing from my head injury. The evil had been completely expelled from my body. The experience was like in a dream. I was so happy that through my will power I could ward off the evil energy from my body.
I opened my eyes again. This time to see the table, chairs, and lots of books on the table and it was dark. I took around five seconds to realize that my experience was just a fucking dream. I checked the time on my ipad. It was 1:48 am. I recalled that I had slept at 12 am and in just 1 hour 48 minutes I had experienced a totally bizarre incident. I thought the world I was in my conscious state was reality and the dream was not. But, I was totally conscious in my dream world and my experience was a complete reality and me doing a PhD and all was a stupid fiction there. I was taken aback by the complexity of this universe and the mysterious world of life. Thinking that I might forget the dream in the morning I noted down the time I woke up and my dream in a couple of statements to think on it later. The dream had sent chills down my spine. I was in a shock. Sitting on my bed in a half-sleep state I asked myself why did I get that dream? Is the dream trying to convey something to me? What is the interpretation of that dream? Should the statement ‘Believe in yourself’ be the motto of my life? I did not get answers to any of my questions. Too lazy and too sleepy to think about the answers I fell on my bed and continued my journey into my dream world.
In recent few weeks I have been getting so many dreams. I mean I can remember lots of dreams. I am trying to find the answers to the questions such as why do we get dreams? what is the meaning/interpretation of a dream? can we control dreams? An amazingly interesting point is that science has absolutely no answers to the questions: why do we sleep? and why do we dream? I watched a couple of documentaries on them, talked to my maava (maternal uncle) Dr. K. D. Bhat who owns a sleep lab and tried to analyze on my own. But, no answers. No idea if we ever understand these mysteries of life.
Some interesting points about dreams:
- We dream in a state of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) where our eyeballs move rapidly.
- Mammals (such as dogs, cats, monkeys, elephants), birds and reptiles dream too.
- Dolphins do not sleep completely. One half of their brain is asleep while the other half is active and vice versa. This is to keep them conscious so that they can breathe coming to the surface once in every 30 minutes.
- Born blind people do not get visual dreams. Born deaf people do not get auditory dreams.
- There is a theory that we can get dreams in which we are aware that we are dreaming. These dreams are called lucid dreams.
My dreams are about my lovely dream-girl, school life, good relatives, close friends, favorite teachers, nice concepts, unexpected events and a couple of crazy stories. Sometimes I have wet dreams (or nocturnal emissions). I had also got a beautiful result related to my research in a dream. I wish if my dreams continued every night from where it stopped the previous night. Hope sleep and dream always remain a mystery.
Dreams have become an integral part of my life. Every night before going to sleep I experience an inexplicable joy preparing for the journey into my dreamworld. I celebrate sleep like a festival. Hmm.. Now it is almost time for me to take a flight to my dreamland. Good night. Sleep tight. Sweat dreams. I mean.. Sweet dreams. Enjoy!